THE PASSAGE

 

 

 

 

 

 

The passage was all UP WIND, and as always there was either too much or too little wind. Well, to be fair we did have many excellent days.

The gulfstream was as predicted and as desired the wind was light so it was a non-event but the next morning did bring porpoises.

Despite being professionally cleaned, the dirty fuel tank caused many &*^% problems.  Not only did the primary filter clog, but even the pickup tube and filter input clogged!!!  Troubleshoot that at 3:00 am with 12 foot swells and no wind.

Slating in light wind broke many sail slides.  Our only real breakage not caused by dirty fuel or stupidity.

The lowest morale came just as we passed Bermuda, we encountered engine overheating, fuel filter clogging, the incorrectly installed alternator, and just when I said "what else can happen" the high water alarm went off with the bilge full to the engine... all after a night of 30+ wind and high seas.  Mike remained calm while I spun around like a top with fatigue. After some triage, It turns out the automatic bilge pump was accidentally turned off for who knows how long, with water flowing down the chain locker and stern tube.  The engine had a vapor lock below the thermostat, the fuel... well that was continuous, and the alternator just needed me to swap the field and tack wires... back in business after Mike forced me to take a nap.

The next few days were awesome until the sat phone said that our service was disconnected!!  We had been calling in twice a day but now we had no way to tell Roxanne and Lisa that we were OK.  We felt as much anxiety as they did knowing they would worry.  Fortunately, another vessel called Roxanne for us to let her know it was a problem with the phone not us.....Thanks Allegrea!

Then we hit the storm that was spawned at the BVI... 40 knot wind on the nose... squall after squall, I've never been wet for so many days.

Once the storm passed, we were left with no wind and little fuel...we were close enough to motor in if we could just come up with enough clean fuel that could make it into engine.  Here is where Rube Goldberg would be proud.  Since the dip tube of the fuel tank doesn't actually reach the bottom of the tank where up to 5 gallons of the nastiest fuel resides, we pumped that fuel through a Baja filter into a Jerry Jug, added the fuel from the diesel heater tank, ran the intake and return line to the jerry with an bizarre collection of fittings and random tubes, and they we were monitoring the ounces of fuel used in order to motor into Tortola on our own.  It worked!!!!! and we even had time for a good meal and for Mike to catch his flight.

Roxanne and the kids were waiting for hours at the dock for us to arrive.  It was incredible to see them, I can't explain how much I missed them.